I have recently separated from my husband of 12 years. To summarize it briefly, he is a binge drinker, and recently, I discovered, he has started gambling. He is also anti-social and keeps to himself all the time. I suggested that we separate, and I am happier. Our 3 kids also seem happier. My husband phones me on an average of once a week, and wants me to reconsider the separation. I feel better being separated, but I still feel like a failure. Why is that?
The reason you feel like a failure is because your mind unconscious mind had a secret goal that it was trying to achieve and that goal wasn’t’realized.If you have been reading my column for a while, you know that we all choose partners that resemble the parents that let us down in the hope that we can heal our early wounds (see my Advice Archives articles on repetition compulsion).I think that your unconscious chose a man who was damaged like one of your parents, hoping that if you could ‘fix’ him, you would feel like you were fixing your parent. But, since you were unable to fix your spouse, you feel like a failure. You didn’t succeed in changing him into the stable loving parent that you needed as a child.What failed was the repetition compulsion, not you. When you read through my Archives, you will see that repetition compulsions usually do fail. That is, we rarely achieve a happy ending to our early traumas when we choose partners who are damaged and limited like our parents were.I hope this clarifies for you why you feel like a failure.Next time you become involved, make sure to choose someone who can give you your happy ending, then you will feel like a winner, not a failure. All the best to you.